Monday, June 10, 2024

Volunteer weekend

The weekend was Ham Radio related (sort of) without any time on the HF bands.

Saturday was our monthly VE Session, and we had a good one. Three new Techs and a General who upgraded to Extra. In June we usually have two sessions and this year is no exception. On June 29th, the Saturday after Field Day, we'll hold another exam session at the W2QW Hamfest in Piscataway, NJ. I had to send an e-mail to the ARRL this weekend, cancelling our July 13th exam session. When I scheduled that one I didn't realize at the time that I'd be away from NJ.

Later in the afternoon, I was with some members of our CERT Team at the Feast of St. Anthony, a carnival hosted by one of the Churches in town. I spent the afternoon helping pedestrians to safely cross one of the high traffic thoroughfares in town.  We were on high alert during this one, as about a month ago, a fair in one of our neighboring towns was disrupted by a bunch of protesters and had to be shut down for the day. There was some trepidation that the same group would try again at this fair, but luckily those fears didn't pan out.

Even though it was quite warm (mid 80's), there was a nice steady breeze on Saturday which made it very comfortable. Some chatter amongst ourselves on the NJ2SP repeater was about all the radio I was able to accomplish all weekend.

Yesterday was soup kitchen Sunday, and by the time that was over, with all three events accomplished (and some "regular" weekend stuff accomplished as well) I was too "pooped to pop" and my "dogs"(my feet) were loudly barking at me to let me know that they did not appreciate all the standing I had done all weekend. So I pretty much vegged out Sunday evening. I wanted to join in on the fun of the 4 States Second Sunday Sprint at 8:00 PM, but I probably would have fallen asleep behind the key. As it was, I fell asleep almost the instant my head hit the pillow, which is a rarity for me these day.

One thing that I need to accomplish one evening this week. There's been some debate within SPARC as to exactly where we will locate within Spring Lake Park. The location where we had set up in previous years might be problematic for antenna placement as our two end feds need to be placed perpendicular to each other. The other location, which has a bit more leg room for the antennas is closer to the street, but also closer to some power lines. I was asked to take my KX3 and AX1 to both locations within the park and compare S level background noise levels. If the power lines are problematic, that will make the decision a lot easier to make.

I saw on the internet this morning that there was a major flare exploding from the Sun yesterday. Apparently, it sent enough "hard protons" Earthbound so as to fog some satellite cameras for a few hours. The follow up CME is expected to hit us today. Will it be strong enough to generate aurora visible as far south as New Jersey? I doubt it, as weather conditions for favorable viewing are forecast for all week. Aurora is only visible from New Jersey when it's overcast or raining.

72 de Larry W2LJ

QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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